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Subject: 2007 Spring NABC B/C/D Swiss rss

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Adam Ruprecht
United States
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Two of the players we know from Austin were eliminated from the flight B NAOPs on Saturday, so we decided to play in the Swiss with them on Sunday instead of the Fast Pairs. Jeff wanted to play in the A/X, but since it was our teammates' very last chance to play B/C/D he relented and we played there. We would have been creamed in A/X, of course, but given that we would have played in the Jacoby given teammates that's not really something that bothers us much...
We saw one very silly auction in the swiss. Jeff opened 1H in first seat at unfavorable, and RHO came in with 1NT. I decided that - 98xx xxxx Qxxxx was worth a 3H preemptive raise, since there seemed to be a decent chance that the opponents could make 4S and 3H really shouldn't be awful. This was doubled on my left (which was apparently undiscussed but interpreted by both opponents, and explained, as a transfer to spades), and the auction continued P 3S P 3NT. Jeff doubled at this point, and RHO ran to 4C. I decided that if Jeff could double 3NT, I could take a crack at 4C - it didn't seem likely to play very well - and the opponents landed in 4SX. I led the heart nine, and LHO tabled a 17 count. Not the right time for a psyche by RHO; we took it for 800 against nothing. We got another pair for 1100 when they hadn't agreed on the auction 1NT(good 11-bad 15)-2H(clubs)-X whether pass or redouble was to play; our nine-card fit turned out to be a poor spot for them doubled.
I misplayed this hand:

KQxxx Jx
Qxx Txxxx
9 KJxxx
A98x x

I reached 5C after a 1S overcall from LHO. The lead was the nine of diamonds; this looked very much like top of a doubleton, so I couldn't afford to knock out the ace of clubs because I expected to see a diamond to the king and a diamond ruff if I did (of course, this isn't a problem on the actual hand). A crossruff seemed to offer better chances, so I played off the AK of hearts, discarding dummy's small diamonds, and exited a diamond. RHO won the king as LHO discarded a spade and returned a spade. I won this with the ace, ruffed a spade, ruffed the heart seven (on which the queen fell), and ruffed a spade (RHO discarded). At this point, I have a complete count on the hand, although I still don't know where the ace of clubs is, but I fell from grace by leading the nine of hearts; LHO discarded her last spade and I went down one. All I had to do was lead the jack of hearts instead; LHO can either ruff and let me overruff or discard and let me discard; either way, I can table my hand. It's always frustrating to go down in what should be a double-dummy situation. Fortunately, this only cost two VP; we pushed the board when 3C went down 1 at the other table, and won 28 VP on the match...

We finished 6 VP out of the money; we were in contention for a good finish, but got absolutely creamed in the last round. It was a fun but frustrating event; we went 4-3, but our first two losses were not only tiny, but also involved good vulnerable games that weren't bid at the other table going down on horrendous splits (of course, I did annoy one set of opponents by deciding that my bad 4-3-3-3 11 count wasn't quite worth an invite opposite a good 11-bad 15 nonvulnerable; I was correct, since partner would have accepted and gone down, and we won 5). The 30VP scale really hurt us there. I was sad to hear that some really fun opponents from Chicago who we had a tight loss to in the second round also got creamed; if no one we knew was going to win, I wouldn't have minded seeing them take it.
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